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Text Bullying

A story from one of my favorite parts of the world on the unfortunate but inevitable trend of messaging-based bullying:

It used to be a shove on the way to class or cruel words scrawled on a toilet stall, but access to technology is giving schoolyard bullies new tools to torment their victims.

Text bullying -- sending threats or abusive messages via cellphones, pagers or computer instant-messaging -- is beginning to raise concern at Lower Mainland schools.

"Text messaging is just starting to come to our attention," said Peter Ewens, principal of Argyle Secondary in North Vancouver. "It's another medium students are now able to access to carry out behaviour such as harassment and bullying."

Argyle is currently dealing with a death threat against a student and a teacher delivered by e-mail. Police are still investigating the threats and uncovering the trail of the sender, who was able to hide the origin of the message. So far, two students have been suspended and police are still working with computer forensic specialists to trace the threats...

At Eric Hamber Secondary in Vancouver, principal Andy Krawczyk knows text bullying happens by e-mail, and he expects cellphone harassment is on the way.

"The schools used to have a no-pager or cellphone rule, but that's long gone," he said. "Parents give the kids cellphones to keep in touch. But the more technology gets away from us, the more difficult it will be to come up with simple rules to control it."

Via Smart Mobs.

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